Do I talk a lot about getting my life organized? I feel like I do. But you know what? It feels like I spend most of my waking moments doing just that – getting my life organized.
I’d love to make it happen so I can think about other things.
Seems that most of my time is spent taking care of all the things that I have, i.e. cars, property, knick-knacks, clothes, etc., and the accompanying cleaning, maintenance, accounting etc. that goes along with all of it. (Speaking of clothes; don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wear everything I have in my closet in a six-month period if I tried). I’m moving into an era where I want to simplify my life more. I want a divorce myself from some of my “stuff!”
My older brother grinned, “You spend the first half of your life trying to accumulate things, and the 2nd half trying to get rid of them.” And the late comic, George Carlin, noted that the only reason we have houses is because we need a place to keep our “stuff.” And when we get more “stuff,” we need to get an even bigger house to store it all in!
How easy would it be for me to get rid of this “stuff?” Just walk around free as a bird?
It’s complicated #1) some of this “stuff” is actually meaningful to me. I knew this when a fire came close to our New Mexico ranch house. Where I always thought I could live on mountaintop with hardly anything, I suddenly realized how heartbroken I would be to lose some of my treasures! So much for me being able to live on a mountaintop! #2) as for all the other, less meaningful “stuff,” the problems get even more difficult. My “stuff” is like having a cast of characters surrounding me in life, and I have relationships with all this “stuff.” And these relationships are demanding! They get lonely and neglected, and clamor for constant attention. More often than not, I don’t have time to call my real friends and continue my real relationships with real people because I’m too busy with my relationships with my “stuff!”
How much do I truly need? Truly need to keep me safe, warm, and, how about – happy? Cause I’m pretty clear at this particular moment that having too much “stuff” is not making me happy. Ah! Now I’m getting down to the heart of the matter!
I’m looking at the concept that less is more. And yes, I know, I know – this is a high-grade problem. And I’m lucky to have it. But am I?
One of the lessons I learned while my husband was sick and fighting terminal illness was how incredibly valuable it is to stop and smell the roses in life. That I should take the time to appreciate what I have, the loved ones in my life, and the very sunlit air that I breath.
It’s distressing to me when I look and see what I’m doing in life is – serving my “stuff” – and, my “stuff” is running me, rather than the other way around!
But this is a solvable problem! While it’s not always easy to sever the relationships with stuff, it can be done – one item at a time.
My “stuff” chokes and overwhelms me, and so often I feel victimized by how complicated and demanding my life has become. But maybe, just maybe, what’s so difficult for me is not the extra items and the demanding duties that I blame for my unhappiness at times, but the hurt, loneliness, anger, confusion, and pain that still filters through my life. These are the harder burdens to carry. And the ones that I have no control over.
I can however, “Clear the Clutter,” as we say in Feng Shui.
You know, I once walked into the bathroom one day and found Patrick on his hands and knees, cleaning out a bathroom cabinet. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“I want it gone. I want it all gone,” he replied, almost maniacally. Clearing out the clutter is a liberating feeling. And it’s one that I’d really like to feel.
And while I can’t change the emotional burden(s) that I carry in life, I can clean out my closet. And I believe I’ll be able to think a lot clearer after I do.
So, I’m tuning up the old Feng Shui rule, “Need it, love it, or leave it.” And some of my “stuff” is just going to have to find another home where someone else can take care of it. Any takers? Adoptions? I’d like to advertise that my “stuff” is well behaved, but I wouldn’t be being truthful.